Sunday, November 30, 2014

HEART THREAD Parts Seventy-Three and Seventy-Four


Stay out of sunshine walk in the shade
I suppose this place an ancient apple tree
older than Eden and ferns grow round it
it leaves me with no answers
I feel glum and businesslike today
accountant of a bankrupt hardware store
with nothing left but the names of instruments
columns of numbers those birds of the heavens
endlessly fluttering past and vanishing
and O the hawk of zero knows my name
inscribable outstretched beneath him
divide by zero and smile for the police.


Some day I'll get this someday wrong
and it will be today, the actual
two schoolchildren performing for assembly
tell of seaweed stars in our flag
what about the starship from the alien planet
why would they bother to come here
why do women wear flowers in their hair
I never wanted to alter your routine
snow or swelter you know better
there are whole cities where the men know less
spell your name the Irish way
then no one can whisper it in local dark.

Friday, November 28, 2014

HEART THREAD Parts Seventy-One and Seventy-Two


If you keep going along this path
no road signs or they all point to heaven
gorse I said or whin or keep you off and green
I am a thing of books and boundaries
a headless god at the bottom of your garden
stone and with a word or two in bad Latin
chiseled in what I took to be my heart
as if the earth needed reminders we are here
or we do and always will, see how the wind
caresses me sun remembers our nights together
we slept on the Hill of Tara her very grass
and never woke all this since is one long dream.


Ireland it and look again
woodcock whooshes past through sunset
lives by the No Trespass sign
the fairy mound back there that no one knows but you
though sometimes I think I see them walking there
in and out of the mind’s view
giving names to things and changing back again
the fairies are the editors of earth
rinsing the sinews of our experience
no one can look at the same leaf twice
but one bird can come twice to your hand
carefully choosing random seeds that you extend.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

HEART THREAD Parts Sixty-Nine and Seventy


Connect the shortcut with the longer route
the stone that stays in heaven in the lowland hear
we heard a dragon do I know what your eyes mean
while a mile away your lips are saying
spent the morning worshipping a child another child
sea wrack and prophecy read from an old book
older than Bible and full of stones half my New England acre
because the river is the boundary song the failed permission
gladiolus every minute and the blue hydrangea
blooming as we speak but you are silent
crisscross prophecies the bird tells it all
invisible blackbirds piping in the gorse.


Mercy remembers all the strange names
gave to bedfellows ivy and she was thistle
and herself the only mistletoe
semaphore hard to know how come it’s over
the little songs of sinking ships the atoll
lubricious indexes of unread books
I can tell your daydreams from your midnight
because we rode together battered car not far
never count shooting stars the way lovers do
or daisy petals but we were angels too
in love with not being in the body but we were child
and children know the world is just their guess.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

HEART THREAD Parts Sixty-Seven and Sixty-Eight


Poem day they call it in Cathay
Kitaj Ezra Sandra Fisher Thomas Meyer
great ones of a single paradigm
no one but you could understand
the point is to learn your place in the hieroglyph
the paradigm you belong to unknown to each other
the forest of Broceliande Allen Fisher Alan Halsey
Nathaniel Mackey Michael Hartnett
these are the Makers in one long chamber
Wagadu to Erigal that wave of shout
music made them and the earth had sense
they lift the hill like heroes and go in.


Everybody’s strong in the sense of saying so
the word hurled all night just said today
it is the breath of Vayu who are you gods of storm
wet wood and anxious trees and bird in trouble
but the sea calm we live in paradox
under the original apple tree among the ferns as far
west as the road lets us go before the rock
topples into silence that boulder smile
I am no man and came here before I was
and before a thought of you troubled the singularity
you angel you meaning of my life with your own wings
I stumble along to keep up with your swift shadow.  

Sunday, November 23, 2014

HEART THREAD Parts Sixty-Five and Sixty-Six


Any hand that touches is a dead man’s hand
you feel old Time along your skin
caressing or pressing leaving small scratches
later you can read as words runes or oghams
or just the southern whiteness of your back saying nothing at all
of course we want the body of the other to talk back
what else is other for but revelation
apocatastasis and the whole cosmos reels back to the start
before we were one and two and many, mind
a white sail far out on an old sea
up to you to tell if setting out or coming home
weird cargo and all the sailors sleeping day and night.


On the fifth day of the fifth month behooves to mount
highest point on the island view of other islands
what more can a word do but open the door
other words on other words sending sea light before storm
storms remind us of where we’re coming from
so much mercy so little sense we call it police
we live inside it as if it had a roof over it
it has nothing up there but numbers we live in a machine
or we live as a machine this beach is pure numerical
this seven is a diamond ring my mother wore all the time
I saw the same blue light in crystal once in the Himalayas
what was I doing there what was my name.

Friday, November 21, 2014

HEART THREAD Parts Sixty-Three and Sixty-Four


Don’t go to it wait till it comes
harvest in springtime summer will be wet
we hid in caves because caves are most like ourselves
impenetrable far dark dangerous and wet
being there we could be safe from ourselves
a new mind in an old place
we lick the place with fantasy alone
quick shadows on the ceiling  nothing moving on the floor
metallic aftertaste you sucked a leaf of rain
copper in the blood sunshine headaches too
we are the other kind we live beneath you
the highest thing we think is somebody else.


Great shapely white bells on the stalk tall as a woman who?
But the rainbow understands such things heavy heavy
but do we deserve what of course you do the moan or muffin
I walk over water as you walk over fire
close to being afraid but love the vista
wanted to offer you intricate syntax
Brownian movement never at peace and even
melodic resolutions suspended over the abyss
exaltations yet to come, confuse us
great Egyptian energy the neters that were axes
stand by the river that was once a human spine
but what a woman! the whole of Africa.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

HEART THREAD Parts Sixty-One and Sixty-Two


Not sure what the giving gave a beak in bark
drink your tea he cries a bird instructor on the empty moor
everything climbs o let the creature out
the little lamp that lights our garnet cavern
sweet aquifer deep riddled with ideas
those toxins of thinking those premature concretions
just keep thinking the car’s not there yet
this rolling motion the cello taught the sea
everything began with us we carved the fossils in our sleep
smooth skin rough bark all the pain at once
the world was created ten minutes ago
when you looked out the window and saw the tree.


Don’t say a name here say a thing instead
a king grows wary after Pentecost
all those green Sundays and no dragons
God sends sometimes an anchorite to rouse
tepid thinkers to outrageous absences
silence is a dragon of its own
the dear knights try to conquer it with song
I'll never be popular I’m a man
priestless sat together sitting together is a mode of prayer
who benefits from this stone altar
who tastes the woodruff in this May wine
master of the forest undefiled by speech.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

HEART THREAD Parts Fifty-Nine and Sixty


Bellini everything yawnless beauty bellezza
footnote to a lifetime folly lived to be wise
I have stared at the sea until it dissolved me
hydrangea who remembers heaven you dream
a new geology  exploring America by dream
find the lost city Beyond The Senses on the plain
my heart or is it soul is waiting for me there
raft me your river hitch me your trailer
lighthouse in the daytime too wink your red eye
aboriginal light light of sea poppies too much said
on the terrace with Zukofsky’s luminous vowels
and the upper bay thronged with Danish ships.


Climb up to the cellar of the sky this hill from heaven
o I was brought up with a bone the meat was just remember
data be our only money gold coins in colza fields
I slip them in your pocket from behind rich rich
the clouds walk here before us white cliffs of over
great ship plows up the losses we spring from flowers
birds in your hair the old dog led us home
they sent me to the jungle to look for you
ice and ash seeping from the wellhead wind because
the elements of wanting are another so much was near
Columba or be Yonah bird abaft my shoe
the head moves fast the body slow. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

HEART THREAD Parts Fifty-Seven and Fifty-Eight


If anyone is there to give me need
let me be your favorite machinery
to think you’re meaning something
count the phonemes and link the most frequent
yielding the secret title of your flesh
people walking deep inside the bread
break me open and let me out
you also are imprisoned in this tower
taking care of children may be pyramid enough
for I have gone with you to Egypt once or twice
riding on your shoulder or your hip
counting the stones at Karnak with dead eyes.


For I was lapis after all and Danube delta
down there where they still have weather
mind perturbed by mower not what I mean by mind
now long legs warmed by sun renimble
ocelot breakfast but I feed on sight of the sea
let me feel this me I am this place
the goldfinch at the thistle seed answer enough
clouds coming over help me to pronounce
sleep between the syllables and wake re-meant
clouds give the sea its color back come guess at me
Wren’s chapel in the Strand strange altars weary gods
smattered with personality everything revise away.  

Monday, November 17, 2014

HEART THREAD Parts Fifty-Five and Fifty-Six


Falstaff rises from the water subtly changed
his laundry basket floats away downstream
here he’s as wet brand-new as Moses
it takes more than shame to wash old lusts away
rush of the wild ox through fields of barley
the maiden thrilled at last consents
to be cast into the contingency of another’s desire
these are what we forget as we walk mild in the street
caught in the meshes of other people’s fantasies
read Coleridge chapter XIII how little we dare to create
how much we brilliantly remember
use the typewriter at the bottom of the well.


There is no mainland it’s all Ocean River
coarse voices of drowned fishermen
finally learn to whisper as the waves kiss shore
hush and hiss and come between our skin
in a child’s voice we hear last echoes of someone else
lost echo Hart Crane to be a poet in America how strange
take the rhymes away and then you’ll see
language is continuous I’m giving you
soft white as new parchment and a bird at my foot
it’s starting again a raft of meaning
floats up and down your spine this trembling reed
as if you were married to a baker and slept in his bread.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

HEART THREAD Parts Fifty-Three and Fifty-Four


I can do nothing to help you but go to sleep
in my dream your destiny propose
city after city with huge parks in them
a green so broad it holds an ocean snug
the other side of color is a man
basalt rough carved to look like you
a tree is meditation
crosslegged contemplative of Roquepertuse
graphic reference like a crowded train
filled with drowsy reveries
enough imagework in there to build a Parthenon
but there are no virgins left no ratios.


You don’t know where you’re going till you’ve left the place behind
raptacious the old word is a hawk in your head
close to the parapet the first time all Paris known
for I was there in person for a change
not one of Atget’s pigeons the shadow on the wall my own
we live lives parallel with ourselves
from far out at sea you can see the way we move
deed making deed the wind blows it all away
read the wakes of light we leave behind us
parallels meet at the infinity called mind
where you slip your shoes and backpack off
and children chase their gaudy mother down the street.  

Saturday, November 15, 2014

HEART THREAD Parts Fifty-One and Fifty-Two


So the sun keeps rising I keep gloom to myself
mockingbird on the rail in love with half an apple
sing to me Caruso sing to me all your arias
you like me can be anybody else
to hide my own song in another’s
they say Pavarotti could not read music
so he had to become Nemorino Edgardo Cavaradossi
flesh became song oh the fat ones we were
to impersonate myself unlock the truth
read the horoscope of strangers
to see the way we stand and move
the Talking Cure without one word being said.


Selvanus must  have been one of our gods
Lord Esus in the woodlot with a hatchet
or we had no gods we had persons
to study the habits of and to revere
because reverence is all
and these holy images of women and of men
make us revere the ones who walk with us
ourselves as much as anybody
if gods are anywhere they must be in you
and you, there are no places we are not
when people are asleep the world goes home
I woke the sun up this morning go to bed with her tonight.

Friday, November 14, 2014

HEART THREAD Parts Forty-Nine and Fifty


Once it begins it knows how to go on
true translation treats the syllable as gold intact
apple-mother guide me through your hedges
you know where the house is you left it there for me
a spot of rain upon the lettuce leaf
trying to begin again without taking life
take form instead and stand like Ely’s lantern
eight brave oak trees bear it up
a thousand years the tallest men in England
still stand the mist her little raft comes through
carrying her sick friend home from poetry
where she will hand-heal every inch of him.


My father’s cigars is how it begins
Dutch Masters or White Owl Connecticut leaf
no non-tobacco ingredients no paper filler
but I am all paper the flesh become word
no wonder stopped going to church
we never had Sunday school we weren’t real Americans
no town meetings no whitewall tires
Catholics were just Jews with no money
America is still over there across the bay across the river
America’s where the sun goes down
makes me sad to see this dying glory
Amenti across the Nile commonwealth of the dead.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

HEART THREAD Parts Forty-Seven and Forty-Eight


Keep your glasses on tonight you’ll see me in your dreams
because I walk with feet of stone no one can hear
you will hear a ship crying out to the fog
you’ll see my breath condensing on your mirror
don’t worry I’ll be everywhere
keep your white noise machine on all you like
I too am a sound that makes no sense
relax I’m finally talking about myself
you’re safe as long as I go on talking
an apple or an orange is also a machine
no moving parts but you and me
alone at midnight in a broken world. 

Man with three hearts
shown on the stone altar by three birds in flight
sky is always the same as your body
that’s how you know where anything is
how anything means
I pray to the weather to exalt the day
god heart beast heart and one more
the heart I gave you was not my own
I offered the whole city to the holy ones
anything you can conceive is yours to give but not to take
what kind of birds are anything
a crow a jay a mockingbird none of these.  

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

HEART THREAD Parts Forty-Five and Forty-Six


Ogmios tongue me what to tell
halfway to hell I dare make invocation
inspirez-moi the Temple must be built                   C.G.                   tenor solo bare rock in Judaea
teach me how to do this thing you make me do
the hymns of Milarepa thrill from strange obedience
teach me to tell what I don’t know
learn from the babble when you sting my lips
strange means an unknown woman
coming through the door arms full of flowers
I can’t understand a single thing she says
I have no choice but to write it down.

Draw a picture of the Temple here
as you imagine it so it shall be
here is a photo of you building it
here is a rainbow to wear around your neck
keeps you safe in battle with the sky
who taught me to work this damned machine
all moving parts are still only the electrons move
rich men keep getting richer as drunkards just stay drunk
there is no doorway to their castle
a house goes on forever like the old Winchester place
money has no natural frontier
the violin mourns the new-fallen king. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

HEART THREAD Parts Forty-Three and Forty-Four


Various various a book in the wind
the birds are reading me as best they can
slow down little language I’m only a child
aftermaths are written long before
just find the right page and squeeze it tight
don’t let anybody see you walk that street
it goes to the hospital where they park the mad
those who released themselves from the ordinary
and wouldn’t you if you could get away from it
the badgering of business the noise of news
and you alone on your phantom ship.


Through the skirl of the Elgar violin concerto
I hear seagulls squawking over the Isle of Wight
it is 1954 I’m going home at last
the island mentioned in the sea
and every nineteen years at summer solstice
the god dances in the sky above his ring of stones
a temple built from time alone
or I am the one who dances there
me can you imagine me prancing in a cloud
yet he’s there and she is with him
and the two of them inhabit me
if you dare look inside yourself you’ll find me there.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

HEART THREAD Parts Forty-One and Forty-Two


Run far enough but do they listen
give them what they want and they’ll come back
fierce dangers of getting what you wish
these are my Moralia guide for the oversexed
lost in the Middle Ages now re-upholstered
in glamorous satin language America America
I call you empty so I wade ashore
open the downturn invade the nucleus
Lincoln enthroned like an emperor
eagle talon’d held together disparate republics
the cure almost worse than the disease
almost and Miss Odessa’s black chess pie.

The one good thing about the Bible is footnotes
commentaries hum like flies in the butcher shop
every decent word breeds scores of annotations
the simplest human sentence needs a Mishnah of its own
and then they write that down and before you know it
we need eight billion people on the planet
to pronounce all the declensions of that first verb
volo was it or nolo or gimme or I thirst
write it down as if the flowers might forget
or Egypt turn wet again and Pharaohs shout
and mothers fret about their adolescent sons
and Abel has a secret wife who cards his wool.

Saturday, November 8, 2014


                                                              for A.M., 1946—2014

In the stillness
of his embedded craft
something always left
between the glittering tiles

the shadows of Byzantium
before the terrible differences—

Meddeb is dead, the last
Mediterranean, the last who knew
white desert with kind hands,
the peace of God that only
men disturb, calm
Tiamat coiled behind heaven,

to mourn a decent man
is almost blasphemy,
his life a precept
to be followed not discussed. 

And yet, many grains of sand
in the desert of the mind. 
Grit in my teeth
women waving
white sheets from their balconies.

Friday, November 7, 2014

HEART THREAD Parts Thirty-Nine and Forty


Womb for the ferly folk my mind by day
your old days come true again be born in me
bread broke open to show a beating heart
Saint Mila showed to show that all’s alive
cistern broken but the water rested, tree
fell but the leaves stayed in the sky
perfect in their dispositif origin of stars
I was Melchizedek who priested in the rocks
I sheeped along among my little goats
try to make hale and holy what you can
for this is sparrowland the good
this is sky with stones in it and all of us. 


Actinism life reacting to the sun
as if a schooner came in your childhood
with a pretty nursemaid on it
taught you her language and took you to sea
and you never came back, that would be me 
water is your only comfort aren’t I
slow drip of language from the rock
my father brought me to a mountain spring
who knows where Castalia I think
and when you drink that water you too are sea
and everything is river ever after
now you are everyone because you watched her lips.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

HEART THREAD Parts Thirty-Seven and Thirty-Eight


Be self-indulgent while a self persists
the birds are gone but men flee work
the tiler has a clipper the hedge is thick
angry voices of the pilgrims bother us
my roof needs re-thatching who are you
are you Madeleine after all all history in your hand
they showed me so many things I took the oath
I felt the sword blade across my Adam’s apple
hoodwinked gladly in the name of love
all our businessmen in masks and music
a secret society made entirely of you
chain the bike and ride the almond tree away. 


Cast among minnows the maiden floundered
out of the little brook baring a message
all is revealed we’ve known all along
water drips along the shank her arch is high
light shows through the least of our constructions
only a pyramid can hold all that dark
there’s still some ink left in the world
inscribe yourself in the family Bible use your Hebrew name
hemlock branches make good torches
renew my membership in France
for I was born before the poem ended
the children were still struggling in the apple tree.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

HEART THREAD Parts Thirty-Five and Thirty-Six


Am I clear yet of the old diseases
it’s always too late to begin
to be a bird
a story out of a different miracle
pay me for what I don’t do
all poetry is blackmail she was sure
always a veiled threat
dangerous scent of wild roses
do something to something it always says
I am what the author left out
more of an answer than a question like most philosophy
what we don’t need is more answers. 


Least eider paddling along the shore
find the secret roads in running water
it goes by but they stay on
in the dark every house Altamira
walk with me the midnight hallways
down the cliffs and over sunken meadows
and never reach the bathroom door
moonrise in the kitchen sink
Uncle Charlie keeps his specimens awake
I rinsed the city and flew out to sea
Bristol of my fisherfolk Sandford of his song
be my ancestor honey be my Palestine.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

HEART THREAD Parts Thirty-Three and Thirty-Four


The French called them enfances
stories about the childhood of great men
heroes before they could lift up the sword
we are infants too and we have swords
we call them memories to use against the world
is what just seems to happen
remedium amoris remember the last time
the taste in your mouth the nasty telephone
things never change the way you do
cause without effect tugboat awash in storm
I love the taste of what won’t let me be
thighs of a scarecrow feathers of a clock.


Take a long time to work it out
merciless mankind at the mill with slaves
of course I remember my masters
John O’Clock and William Psalm                                 W.S.
brown Thomas and the Jewess of Baltimore         T.B.        G.S.
I am the Middle Ages born again
reviver of dragons mountebank of miracles
three drops of my own blood in the snow
and I was the woman I was the lost Christ
I was the ship to Marseille and the cave in the Vaucluse
I was the stone he stepped on
I was the crown on the soft hair of his head.